Irreverent comedian Chris Rock, whose childhood is highlighted in UPN’s Everybody Hates Chris, didn’t engender much love last year from Academy members when, as Oscar host, he lambasted the institution and actors including Jude Law (with Rock drawing an on-camera rebuke from Best Actor winner, Sean Penn), Colin Farrell and Tobey Mcguire.
That may account for a New York Times report Friday that Chris Rock won’t be back for the upcoming ABC awards show March 5.
The Times quoted Rock’s publicist as saying, "He didn't want to do it in perpetuity. He'd like to do it again down the road."
Rock’s proactive stance of withdrawing his name from consideration (a host will reportedly be chosen prior to the new year) may have been a matter of seeing the writing on the wall.
Besides angering some Academy members, ratings for the Rock-hosted, faster-paced awards telecast dropped by about 5% from 2004, though that was less of a drop than the prior year’s award show and others in 2005, including the Golden Globes, which plummeted 40% year-to-year.
Although Rock was credited with bringing a more youthful and energetic pace to the Oscars, he ruffled Oscar sensibilities with a pre-show interview in which he called the awards “idiotic,” and when he interviewed theater-goers in an African-American neighborhood, none of whom had seen any of last year’s five Best Picture nominees.